New Thomastik Dominant PRO strings

February 11, 2021, 4:33 PM ·

Thoughts... Anyone already tried?

Replies (92)

Edited: February 11, 2021, 5:48 PM · 40% more pricey, the only advantage would be being slightly cheaper than Pi with a bit less tension. Dominant medium or light would be more practical. Even if money wasn't a consideration, the marketing is pretentious: "Dominant PRO", as if they were a step up for professionals from Dominant, or as if Dominant were not good enough for pros. They also have too much competition from their own lines, from Pi to Rondo, to the other non-Pi, non-Rondo they also only sell at dealers (forgot name.) Some soloists and professionals still use their older "better than Dominant" strings (Titanium Solo, Solo, Infeld Blue, etc.) They make good synthetics in general, but as of late I feel there are too many "much of the same" feel to the latest synthetics, with a few notable exceptions from some brands.

I have NOT tested them. Maybe they are the best string ever, and will fit your instrument like no other string had before.

A true "Dominant successor" should come in at least 3 available gauges, and have at least as many windings options. Otherwise, this is only another modern synthetic with "Dominant" in the name for a possible sales push.

They should be comfortable to play at that tension, but not the most soft.

I would suggest for most to stick with Dominant, lighter synthetics, or better, try using gut strings if able to.

To be honest, I laughed out quite loud when I received the email from fiddlershop about the new Dominant PRO line. That is what prompted me to see the video before coming to this forum. Then I saw your thread. Dominant PRO is a very comical name, all things considered. I did not believe they could try such a thing. At least they are only $89.00 for now-buy before the are $99!

My apologies for my rather cynical tone above. Hope they work well for you if you end up trying them.

Edited: February 11, 2021, 6:40 PM · Dominant medium are the only Dominant, if you get what I mean. Most new strings don't have gauges anymore, the entire Vision line, PIs... gauges change the tone and feel of the strings, 3 having the same name doesn't make much sense. If you want a different tone with more or less tension, you look for other sets, I think that makes more sense.
Yeah it's funny... I've even commented on the video, it was about time that "Dominant Amateur" got upgraded haha
I'm only curious about string diameter/thickness, that's the reason why I don't use PIs.
February 11, 2021, 6:28 PM · I played only Dominants only for years, then switched to some 'pricier' strings, most from Thomastik. I recently picked up some Dominants on a sale, and playing on them was like coming home. Felt a lot easier to get different tone colors and intonation seemed clearer. I attributed it to the familiarity, but not really sure if they're even better to a listener. I don't think I'll switch again, though.
Edited: February 11, 2021, 7:12 PM · Tom, I totally get it, Dominants are thicker and softer, it's harder to play on thinner and more tense strings (Vision line, PI...). I feel the same as you, about coming home, about Obligato, used them for years. Now I'm using Evah Pirazzi Gold because they sound and respond better but feel similar under the fingers, they're thick and soft. Not using Thoamstik strings again, unless these new Dominant Pro are really great and of course, not thinner than the original Dominant.
February 11, 2021, 8:09 PM · I disagree with Mr. Duarte about tensions. Medium is just easier to package and sell for a company. Gauges are inconvenient to a business, but convenient for a number of players and violins. Even 2 choices of gauges are better than no choice. True Dominants are either the heavy, medium, or light gauge. The reason I believe a true Dominant sequel should have gauges is because the original had them-and still do. Nothing personal. My last light gauge Domimant set with aluminum D (therefore, not "thin") were really wonderful to play on, and had quite a good, lively tone which was "very Dominant", for lack of a better term.

I wholly disagree with the gentleman on the video about gauges (in other videos), in which he just recommends medium without any explanations as to why ("most people use medium" is not helpful-if the gentleman is reading this, I mean no harm or animosity-just strongly disagree.)

I am using original Eudoxas now.

Mr. Bop,

The tonal profile and feel of Dominants is quite distinct from their other strings. I would also agree you may as well stick to Dominant in your situation. It is "PRO" enough as it is.

Be well, and stay safe, everyone.

Edited: February 12, 2021, 4:13 AM · Bizarrely, the stringing on my Breton is, from G to E, Dominant med, Dominant med, Dominant light, Hill.
I don't like the Dominant light A string.
February 12, 2021, 8:39 AM · So why are you using it?
February 12, 2021, 8:50 AM · Because it came with the violin, and I can't afford to throw a set of strings away. When they wear out, I'll put some ootb Dominants on it.
February 12, 2021, 8:55 AM · Got it.
February 12, 2021, 10:21 AM · I was sort of laughing at the PRO part. Does this mean if I try to use them disaster will ensue, such as my violin exploding? Or will they sense my beginnerishness and refuse to vibrate?
February 12, 2021, 10:35 AM · I was hoping people with experience on these might chime in, rather than hypotheticals. I am curious how they compare to Rondos as well, which seem to be marketed as a long-lasting string with more power than regular Dominants, but less so that PIs.
February 12, 2021, 11:13 AM · Violinist Cristian Fatu has a video playing them on his YouTube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzjJM7CDa8Q

Gimmicky name aside, they seem to be designed to be a warmer set with more color and projection than the dominants which was the main thing I was missing when I used them on my last violin. Now I have a warmer violin that benefits more from neutral+ to brighter strings and am currently testing Il Cannones on it. I'm interested in them, but don't think I'll try them since they'd likely sound a little subdued on my violin like the dominants and vision solos did, the latter also being muddy.

Might try them just out of curiosity, but highly doubt it. I'm going to let these Cannones play out then try a set of Virtuosos that I have. After that, sky's the limit with finding a set that works the best with this new violin of mine.


February 12, 2021, 3:43 PM · After listening to the video and reading the description, I really have no idea how they compare to, say, Infeld Blues or the TI strings.

I hope they can better explain why someone might want these over several of their other synthetic strings.

February 12, 2021, 11:30 PM · Please don't dismiss a string because of its name! Pro hasn't meant "For Professionals" in products for a few years now. It just means "extra". Compare the branding with all the Shampoos and skincare products (for decades) and Phones and Headphones (for a few years).

If you want to complain about how they use the word "Pro", you are years to late. :)

February 13, 2021, 12:01 AM · After listening to a bit more info in another video, I realized these are also perlon core, so should be similar in feel if not entirely on sound to the old Dominant. Perhaps they tried their best to get a "better" nylon sound, so in that regard, the Dominant moniker makes more sense (if not the PRO denomination.)

Still, a pity it appears to be available in only one "modern" iteration (only mittel, only silver wound D.) The price is *really high* for a perlon core string in my opinion.

If a player is very used to the old Dominant tone, it may not be an upgrade for him/her. For all their alleged neutrality, I believe the original Dominant have their own colored sound. It is nice, and present. Definitely do not sound like Evah Pirazzi (for instance), or most "modern" cores.

If they sound good, they should be nice to play on, as are Domimants in general. These PRO are however pricier than Eudoxa and possibly Tricolore; I prefer my synthetics to be cheaper than gut strings, because gut does sound and play better at the higher price points. If I am going synthetic, I rather pay a more moderate price. Spending $80 plus, I rather buy gut. Especially for perlon, I won't pay $99.00 That said, I am sure I am a minority-buy whatever works for your needs.

Edited: February 13, 2021, 12:04 AM · Mr. Eklund,

I also complain about the "PRO" denomination in other products, be it shampoo or headphones (I have many of the latter). It is just marketing to me. It is fine if these PRO strings work for you and the price is no problem. Please take no offense.

Be well.

February 13, 2021, 12:12 AM · Interestingly enough, Sharmusic has them as well for pre-order, but its offering them with different choices of E strings like many shops do for the original dominants. Are they prematurely assuming people won't like the E string in this new set, or do they already know something based on the small portion of people who have tried them so far, soloists and shop owners alike?
February 13, 2021, 12:23 AM · It may be that some players are married to their favorite Es, so they are expecting a similar trend as you have suggested, even if the set's E is pretty good. Many players use Goldbrokat or Jargar Forte (et al) with *any* new set they try. When I used EP, I never used the silvery steel E, for instance.

Thomastik/Infeld are making better Es than the original Dominant plain steel E that few liked. I am sure the one the PROs come with should be fine, and also match the set well.

February 13, 2021, 6:21 AM · Will post my observations here when they are out publicly in March! The name certainly has an expectation to live up to.

I remember when the Infeld blue and reds came out, there were mixed reactions from users as well as myself, so we will see if it is an across the strings upgrade to the original or another alternative in a sea of choices..

Edited: February 14, 2021, 11:05 AM · Available for pre-order, and I can't yet find them on Thomastik's website. Thomas says that they are out in March.
So, Dimitri, I'm not sure how anyone can give you a view based on experience.
February 13, 2021, 1:54 PM · Yes, from the sites I've seen them on (Sharmusic, Concordmusic, and Fiddlershop), they all say the strings are available for pre-order and will be shipped some time in March.
February 13, 2021, 4:22 PM · It will be interesting to see how they hold up. With the two videos, they appear to offer some of the best of the Dominant and PIs. But that doesn't mean they will offer as much as some other choices.

There are strings that appear fabulous at the beginning, but don't make it in all situations. As one example, I tried various Warchals, and until I got to the Timbre (very nice!), I couldn't like any of them. And one of my luthiers has tried EP Gold (another common Best of Both Worlds choice) on his own instruments, and hates them.

One big, unanswered question here, perhaps relevant to people near large cities-- how do the D PROs compare with Rondo? Until now, those were the housebroken, soloist Dominants.

February 13, 2021, 6:26 PM · I see Infeld Blue, TI, PI, and Rondo all compared with Dominant!
February 13, 2021, 9:49 PM · They sound great to me. Nice playing in that video.
February 14, 2021, 12:21 AM · The regular Dominant were already more expensive than the equivalent nylon-core competition, and I won't buy anything more expensive Pirastro Gold label gut-core, so I will skip this one.
Edited: February 14, 2021, 10:52 AM · I wonder if they considered "Dominant Gold", or even "Dominant Platinum" if the platinum-plated E is part of the setup. Either would avoid the use of "PRO", which is rapidly becoming a weak and almost meaningless descriptive in many areas of trade.
February 14, 2021, 12:44 PM · aren't almost all synthetic core strings some kind of nylon??
February 14, 2021, 1:22 PM · Perlon, a material commonly used in synthetic strings, is a nylon product, also known as Nylon 6. It differs from other nylon strands because of a different construction process.
Edited: February 14, 2021, 1:39 PM · Lyndon, yes, Perlon is poycaprolactam, nylon 6. Nylon 66 is also sometimes used. But the big differences in the strings are in the way the core filaments are wound, woven, or otherwise packed into the core, which affects the softness and tone. The relative softness of Dominant strings is due to both the use of nylon 6 and the way the filaments are used.

If you try to identify the different polymers by the names given by the string companies you will encounter a tangled up mess of trade names, some of which are not polymers. An example is "stabilon."

February 19, 2021, 3:55 PM · Thought I'd bring some new news to the thread. Thomastik Dominant Pro strings will have other variants of strings. There will be 4 E strings, 2 A strings, 2 D strings, and 1 G string. The reason we didn't know about them is because the set that is releasing in March is the set with Tin (DP01) E, Aluminum A, Silver D, and Silver G, but the other variants will be released later this year in July.

Set being released in March:
E: DP01 Tin
A: DP02 Aluminum
D: DP03A Silver
G: DP04

Here are the other Variants being released in July 2021:

E string:
DP01AU Gold-plated
DP01PT Platinum plated
DP01SN Tin

A string:
DP02B Steel Core Chrome

D string:
DP03 Aluminum

All of this information and more can be found at DominantPro.com

February 22, 2021, 5:32 AM · Hello everyone, just got this in my inbox:

Available now - DOMINANT PRO - the dawn of the next era

exceptionally powerful
good balance of brilliance and warmth
broad range of sound colors
supports the radiance of the instrument in the long term
reacts immediately with a focused sound core
a sound that fills the room
bell-like tonal character
high resistance to bow pressure
suitable for soloists
very high level of dynamics (can be played very quietly and very loudly)

THE SOUND DEVELOPMENT OF DOMINANT PRO

Immediately after stringing, the string set sounds bell-like and fills the room.

In the first three to five hours of playing, the strings feel a touch softer and sound a little warmer than they do for the rest of their lifespan.

Then the strings open up, sound more brilliant and open, and feel a little tighter beneath the fingers.

The bell-like sound that fills the room decreases slightly in the last third of the strings’ life and they sound more direct – from this point on, the tonal character of the strings barely changes.

You can find even more information about the structure of the strings, tension and comparison with the existing Dominant strings in the informative, enclosed DOMINANT PRO brochure and of course at https://www.thomastik-infeld.com/en/new-releases/dominant-pro

Edited: February 22, 2021, 6:30 AM · Reading the maker's descriptions of their strings is a bit like reading wine labels : pretentious nonsense !

How about this instead : We have a new string. It may or may not sound better on your violin but either way we will still make money because it is even more expensive than the last lot.

Edited: February 22, 2021, 6:38 AM · @Brian, you nailed it, LOL. My business has been distributing strings in Italy since 1988, and each time a new string came out we had to translate the manufacturer's description into Italian for newsletters.

Believe me, it is truly hard to write the same stuff 100 times and each time make it always sound not only different, but better!

February 22, 2021, 10:37 AM · Just got my e-mail from Johnson's-- they are taking pre-arrival orders.
February 22, 2021, 11:03 AM · The bells, the bells!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L83XAgsl_Gg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=id-u9ro50TM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G32Yaq0HE5k
Edited: February 22, 2021, 12:23 PM · To follow Brian's parallel above, it sounds like pre-ordering the upcoming Beaujolais Nouveau. There is always a rush to get the very first bottles so you can show off to your friends that you are no slouch.

In the UK they actually organize a race to see who can bring it back across the Channel first, using any means (ferry, tunnel, sailboat, hot air balloon) you name it. It's actually a crappy wine but our English cousins have a jolly good time! I appreciate the English enjoyment of things.

Edited: February 22, 2021, 12:51 PM · I am not their target audience, but I would likely test them if I was a Pi fan, because the ultimate price will be similar, as are the string options. Indeed it appears to be a Pi clone, but with a perlon core-and no available gauges for both lines. At least they do offer some choices for the player (Aluminum D, steel A, etc.) Pi users should be intrigued about the difference between Pi and D-Pro.

However, it is very hard for me to see myself even trying these (not even at the $89.00 promotional price), when the original perlon-core Dominant still sounds nice at a lesser price, and with lower tension from Medium to Light.

Eudoxas are slightly cheaper, sounding and playing better for my use. I fail to to hear their supposed lack of volume. Very open sound, both deep and rich in higher frequencies. (The key is pairing them with a bright, resonant plain steel E of any plating that works for your instrument.) And if you deem the Eudoxa too "pitch-unstable", try Tricolore for a "rawer" but still beautiful and musical tone.

I hope that as people try this new product, they can let us know how the PROs are better or worse than the Originals, not only in sound but also in terms of how they feel under both bow and fingers. Good luck to all testers-may it be a successful experiment for your needs.

February 22, 2021, 12:58 PM · As a manufacturer I fail to see how Tonicas can retail at $38 (Shar) and Dominant Pros for over double, when the basic materials and method of manufacture are similar.

It reminds me when Hyundai decided to enter the Italian auto market. A whopping 20% of the price of every automobile sold was slated to advertising.

Edited: February 22, 2021, 2:36 PM · So it's basically PI with slightly warmer tone, and hopefully larger diameter!... If anyone finds any information regarding the string diameter/thickness, please post. But looking at the video it already seems that the G string is too thin compared to the D and A. Yuck.
February 22, 2021, 3:34 PM · Dmitri, also to be considered as a significant proportion of the end price to the consumer is the cost of the R&D that has presumably gone into Dominant PRO, and, possibly following on from that, the cost of trade mark protection, and the (much greater) cost of world-wide patent protection if something patentably novel and non-obvious in the product and/or manufacturing process arose out of the R&D.

For myself, I am quite happy with long-established Chorda gut and Eudoxas, which suit my 18th c violin very well.

February 22, 2021, 6:05 PM · Tonicas at $35 ! We can only dream of that in Australia : $86 is a good price in this country. Surely postage and the exchange rate cannot account for such a large difference ?
February 22, 2021, 6:18 PM · I am wondering if this isn't so much a competitor to the PI, but a more mainstream version of the Rondo, which is quite a different beast from PI. We will presumably know more by the time the weather is warm.
February 22, 2021, 7:03 PM · I do not think the D-Pros compete well with Rondos, not just because of the likely sound and feel difference due to perlon, but due to price. I am not sure what is the cost of a Rondo set, but it likely is not $99.00. Hard to imagine they want to discontinue their Rondo deals with luthiers in favor of the D-Pro line (do not mean to be contrarian.)

The players in the reviews love them, for what that is worth.

February 23, 2021, 3:30 AM · Rondos go for $109.95 at Connolly music, so the Dominant Pros are actually slightly cheaper even with the price mark up that will happen later this year. Stephen's point about the D-Pros possibly being a more mainstream version of the Rondos did cross my mind. If they end up being similar in sound and feel at a lower price and more available to the public since you can get them at more places than just the US distributor (Connolly music) or a brick and mortar store I could see these new strings going quite far. Only time will tell.

I plan on trying the D-Pros as well as purchasing a set of dominants and PIs as well and will test them side by side to see how they compare at least on my violin. I like the PIs on my violin and dominants weren't bad either so this will be interesting to see how well they compare side by side at once rather than in 3-4 months time when the previous set goes bad.

I'd be curious to see what people who regularly use dominants think of these strings when they are released.

February 23, 2021, 3:49 AM · Trevor, I think that Thomastik had paid all the same costs when they presented Dominant. But perhaps amortization allows them to sell them cheaper in comparison now.
February 23, 2021, 11:03 AM · I am personally deeply curious about D Pros vs. Rondos. The Rondos are a great string.
February 23, 2021, 11:07 AM · Mr. Harvey,

I did not know the Rondos were so expensive. Thanks for letting me know. I thought they would be more affordable since the luthier-only Timbre are not as pricey. It would appear to me Rondos should be cheaper considering the less marketing and packaging involved. Under that pricing, the D-Pros sound "affordable"!

(On a side note, since Timbres exist, I would not in good conscience recommend Rondo to anyone. Perhaps they are the best string ever, and worthy of the price. I know many luthiers like them. But I suspect the brand is taking advantage of the good will of its faithful Dominant customers over decades. I do not like it. They have good sounding strings that do not cost as much... and of course if you get them for free it is fine. Sorry for sounding so cynical. I know these strings work for thousands of musicians, professional or otherwise.)

I guess $99 is the new cheap? Reminds me of Samsung and Apple overpricing their newest yearly mobile products.

R&D and advertising are making this new product a hard sell, as far as I am concerned, though I am also sure to be a minority, and not their target audience, as I stated earlier.

No disrespect meant to all Pi/Rondo users-you are entitled to your own choices and use of your resources. Stay safe, and happy practicing.

February 23, 2021, 11:33 AM · My wife and I use Rondo all the time on our violins now, and we've never paid over a hundred dollars for a set from our luthier. Rondo and Timbre cost roughly the same from the shops where we buy them.

We tried two sets of Timbre recently, and they're excellent, especially the E string. I personally still prefer the clarity of Rondo, which doesn't overly color the sound of the instrument with additional texture.

February 23, 2021, 12:58 PM · I think it all depends on the "flavor" of one's violin. Warchal Timbre strings are the best ever on two of my violins (in fact the only reason I play them again after owning them for 20 and 50 years respectively). The other two of my violins lost most of their sound when I tried Timbre or Amber strings but absolutely shine with Evah Pirazzi Gold topped with a PI Pt E string.

But it is interesting to read here how much people can write about the new Dominant Pro sets - strings they have never seen, touched or heard.

I look forward to some informed information!

February 23, 2021, 1:25 PM · I am a fan of Warchal strings, and Timbres are relatively nice on my violin, but I really like Rondos on my violin, and they have excellent longevity (so a much better deal budgetwise than, say, Evah Pirazzi green or gold).

I own a lovely violin that doesn't need to be overdriven by high-tension strings, or any tonal modulation for more brilliance. Rondos respond easily, feel good under the left hand fingers, and project well, and are nicely neutral. They also sound good immediately, without the annoying metallic break-in period of Dominants.

February 23, 2021, 2:13 PM · Then Connolly Music gave Mr. Harvey an inflated price, or an MSRP "street price" no one ever uses in modern times. (Or they are sold at higher prices online to force players to go the shop.) I have never ordered direct from Connolly-I see them as a supplier more than an online seller. It is good to know the luthier price is not that high, and more akin to Timbres.

Still, with the trend of ever increasing pricing schemes for moderm synthetics (perlon at $89-$99!), I am glad to not be their target customer. To be fair, I also believe Passione are rather pricey as well, and am also not "onboard" with Perpetual, etc.

Edited: February 23, 2021, 5:15 PM · Lydia Leong, "I own a lovely violin that doesn't need to be overdriven by high-tension strings, or any tonal modulation for more brilliance.", you do know that Rondos are higher tension than Evah Pirazzi, right? Or at least the same.
February 23, 2021, 4:12 PM · I suppose it depends on who is selling them. When I tried them I bought them at a violin shop instead of Connolly music for $85.52. Since then I've changed luthiers since my last one left the shop and the person that remained there was, how should I say this, "not violin-making inclined." The luthier I have now doesn't carry them and another shop I asked sold them at $112.46 including tax which is still over $100 without tax and more expensive than Connolly music as they don't charge tax (at least when I checked).

I guess when you buy them in bulk you can charge whatever price you want.

Edited: February 23, 2021, 4:31 PM · It is horrible, and an likely unintended effect of the popularity of the strings and its unique way of being sold. That is the kind of thing that used to be the norm in the era pre internet sales. While I do *not* mind paying a bit extra to a violin shop for the mere fact of the convenience factor (I honestly hate buying online if I can get the same product on a physical store-barring extreme pandemic cases of course), 85 to 112 is a big jump. Even in the old days, I would consider it "wrong" and not buy from any shop that would overcharge.

Very sorry for that situation.

(Sadly I cannot get most of the strings I like in regular shops, unless they order them for me. Otherwise I would support them more often, though I frequently buy E strings and other available accessories from the shops when possible.)

February 24, 2021, 7:20 PM ·
February 24, 2021, 9:09 PM · Rondos have similar tension to EP Golds (according to the charts), but using EPGs on my violin requires a delicate balance of adjustment to deal with the higher tension. For whatever reason, the Rondos don't seem to require that.
February 24, 2021, 9:14 PM · If David Duarte’s numbers are right, the standard Rondo set is almost the same as Evah in tension. The real difference comes if you use the chrome A and/or E. I haven’t used the chrome A much and never use the E string. Thus, using Rondo with the aluminum A and a Goldbrokat E, the overall tension is not higher than Evah and the sound is vastly improved.
Edited: February 25, 2021, 1:25 PM · Rondo are higher tension than Evah Pirazzi Green. They may feel better or not under the fingers, but that doesn't mean the tension is not there. The numbers are here:
- https://www.pirastro.com/public_pirastro/pages/en/Evah-Pirazzi-00001/

- https://www.thomastik-infeld.com/en/products/orchestral-strings/violin/rondo

___Evah Pirazzi:___
G: 4.9 kg

D: 4.8 kg

A: 5.6 kg

E: 7.8 kg


___Rondo:___

G: 4.8 kg

D: 4.8 kg

A aluminum: 5.7 kg | A chrome: 6.0 kg

E: 8.2 kg

February 25, 2021, 1:09 PM · Hmmm... maybe why I don't like their E string. Take that away and use the aluminum A string, and you're on pretty similar ground.
February 25, 2021, 2:15 PM · Rondos last longer than the Evah Pirazzi Green and feel better under the fingers, for me personally.
Edited: February 25, 2021, 3:07 PM · The tension is higher if you use the chrome A and the E string, but there’s no point in using their E. A set with the regular G, D, and A will be equal to the Evah numbers. If you’re worried about the tension, though, try the TI strings instead.
Edited: February 25, 2021, 3:45 PM · The aluminium A is also higher than Evah Pirazzi.
What E-string are you going to use? Because most are the same or higher than the 7,8kg from Evah Pirazzi green.
February 25, 2021, 6:31 PM · To be fair EP Green mittel/Gold, Pi, and Rondo are "high tension" for my needs. Even Timbre. I am sure I could use all of them, but I am too old for peer pressure to affect me. Nothing wrong with these popular and good strings, it is just that I compare them to older, still effective tech, and I do not prefer them. I see the new as an alternative, rather than necessarily better.

Mr. Duarte, just use a Goldbrokat to get back to 7.7/7.8 territory. No one forces players to use complete sets. As many have stated above, Rondo is not that much more tense than EP. 0.1-3kp more tension? For your own needs, try these new D-PRO when they release the full lineup in the summer, so you can use the aluminum D, as you seem to prefer thicker and lighter tension sets. The March release $89.00 "special" is the standard "Rondo clone"/"modern taste" strings, with silver G&D, Aluminum A, and 8.2 tin plated E. No need to rush to buy something you already know that at least in theory you do not prefer. They will most certainly get purchased enough without your cooperation.

Glad Warchal, Pirastro, and Thomastik/Infeld (among few others) offer steel As for many of their modern sets. It is truly a niche need (I would argue more niche than string tensions!), yet they have chosen to provide the option.

For a medium-high tension similar to the strings mentioned above, the nylon core Pirastro Synoxa are another option (not quite $89, but a bit more than Dominants.) Beautiful tone, comfortable feel, nylon, and medium-high tension for less.

Edited: February 25, 2021, 7:02 PM · EP Gold are just a little bit over Obligato in terms of tension, not much, they don't feel high tension, they feel soft and they respond a lot better than PI for me. They're also larger in diameter, which is also decisive imo. The sound is beautiful. Too bad they allegedly don't last as long, but even if they later loose their "edge", it doesn't mean they become bad strings, especially if you don't have important performances coming. For me it's totally worth it. The E-string is also very nice, sounds lovely and almost doesn't whistle, great tension, not too much, not too low, just a little bit over the Gold Label. Perfect set. I'm glad I've decided to try them despite the price and durability comments online.
I don't like Goldbrokat, it looses in volume compared to the rest of the set and its lower tension removes darkness and depth from the G string.
February 25, 2021, 7:09 PM · Related to the official promo video linked above by Mr. Duarte, why is a "darker, more focused tone" the equal of "better"? Also, while these terms are being used by many other brands just as well, isn't a focused tone inherently less dark? Or is it as with the EP Green "dark", where there are lots of boomy frequencies, followed by hollowed mids, and an airy uppermost frequency range?

Based on that video, I would prefer the original Dominant because the tone would be brighter, they would be less tense, and I ultimately feel that a room-filling sound with a bell-like tone is not only the job of the strings, but also the violin, bow, and bow arm. We all have heard great players fill concert halls with a powerful sound, all with humble Dominant strings. Dominant Pro sound like what Oliv-Stiff and Eudoxa-Stiff are for those strings, but with a much higher price differential.

In the end, as I stated before, worth a try for Rondo and Pi super fans, if they are amenable to the price.

Happy string testing.

Edited: February 26, 2021, 9:31 AM · Adalberto, you might enjoy this link (already shared above, but pasting again because it's interesting) - it has some interesting commentary about the development and user preferences for the original Dominant strings.

https://www.thomastik-infeld.com/pdf/DP100_Download_pdf_EN.pdf

Edited: February 28, 2021, 2:15 AM · GoStrings have updated their "Viennese Mélange":

$66.45 Medium 4/4

"This customized blend of Dominant and Infeld strings, plus a new E string are designed to bring out the best in instruments crafted in Europe. This set provides an exceptionally balanced tone and stabilizes very quickly. This combination of strings is especially beneficial in string crossings and harmonics".

E - New, Multi-layered tinned carbon steel.
A - Dominant A string (perlon core, aluminum wound).
D - Infeld Blue D string (Composite core, hydroaluminum wound)
G - Infeld Red G string (composite core, silver wound).

February 28, 2021, 2:38 AM · Does this combo coincide with Go strings getting some bargains on individual strings in bulk??
February 28, 2021, 9:40 AM · I ended up with a pretty similar combo once upon a time when I experimented with the Infelds. Infeld Red A and G, blue D, plus a different E string. The choices don't surprise me.
February 28, 2021, 10:07 AM · I think “Viennese Melange” has actually been around almost as long as Infeld Red and Blue have been.
March 2, 2021, 7:04 AM · Update: we just got our first shipment of Dominant PRO. My first impression? The packaging alone must cost the company $10 a set. Really.
March 2, 2021, 7:38 AM · What do you expect? These are Pro strings, the package must be expensive, unlike all the other amateur strings.
March 2, 2021, 10:06 AM · I'm waiting for the straight-pack bulk versions to appear :-)
Edited: March 3, 2021, 9:43 AM · We just got a dozen sets to try out this morning. I put on a violin and found them to be quite pleasant to play. I can see what they mean about being in between Dominant and PI—a bit more focus, but warmer than PI. It’s nice to have them as an option.

Just for clarification, the set had the aluminum A and silver D. We just threw out the E and used a Gold Label.

March 3, 2021, 12:22 PM · So you didn't even try the E?
March 3, 2021, 12:58 PM · Why didn't you try the E? Inquiring minds want to know...

Also, how are they compared to Rondos?

Edited: March 3, 2021, 1:06 PM · It's probably a shop custom-the "new" D-Pro Es should be the same quality (if not the same) as with the Pis. It could be that Mr. Maxham prefers the medium Gold Label E even over the "new" tin plated Pi E, the latter which is a bit higher tension in "medium". To be fair to Mr. Maxham, I would also switch the E to one of my favorites, but not because the D-PRO E is bad. The Gold Label E is mighty fine on its own, and matches well with many gut and synthetics sets. He may prefer it as his shop's general E sound, as he sets up many instruments with it, and may also do the same with Rondos and Tis if he sells them.

Edited: March 3, 2021, 6:21 PM · i just tried them - they are an excellent set. BUT as my only problem with the original Dominants was the A string which « shouts » a tad too much. I tried mixing original G and D Dominants with an A Dominant Pro and it blends rather beautifully, I think.

The Dominant Pros sound more bell-like and closer to Dominants with a silver D, but I find they lack the punch of the original G (the OG!!) of the original Dominant and I don’t think I will part with the OG.

The set of Pros sound « cleaner and more sophisticated » than classic Dominants but I like the edge of the original.

The e of the Pros would be fantastic if you have a whistle-prone instrument but I find it a bit dry, I prefer changing to the 129SN which is the carbon steel tin plated, or even nicer, for the 48MS Chrome Steel gold plated.

So right now I am in heaven, I always needed a couple of weeks to tame the A on Dominants and something a bit too « present » was always bothering le - but the A from the pros with original Gs and Ds and my favourite e-string of the moment = Amazing!!

Definitely worth trying the set though, looking forward to the string alternatives in July that are going to come out. Also perhaps I am biased and too set on my old habits and perhaps my impression will shift over time.

In a way the Pros remind me of a mix between the new Corelli «  Solea » strings (but with a higher tension) crossed with original Dominants. really cool, but most importantly my prayers have been answered and my perennial « A » problem appears for now to be solved! Goodbye to Infeld Red As or Corelli Crystal violin or alto As. i’m super happy!!

March 4, 2021, 9:58 AM · There are a couple reasons why we didn’t use the Pro E:

1) Thomastik has been trying to make a decent E string for decades, but there just hasn’t been much success. The Goldbrokat or Gold Label E strings are simply good without any gimmicks. I always use one of the two when setting up a violin, unless there’s a special reason to use something else. As a good friend of mine says, “Heifetz knew a thing or two about strings.”

2) The violin we chose for the Pro strings was one that had been set up previously, but the lower three strings had been taken off to be used on another violin to bypass the break-in period. As a result the violin just had a Gold Label E. There was no reason to take it off, so we kept it with the Pro set.

About Pro vs. Rondo:

It’s hard to say concretely because I haven’t tried them on the same violin, but my initial thought was that the Rondos had a little more punch. When I tried the Pros, I was surprised by how similar they felt to Dominants.

It’s debatable whether we’re living in a golden age of playing or making, but I think it’s undeniable that there has never been such a great array of strings available.

March 4, 2021, 2:28 PM · I got a notice from swstrings that my pre-order set has been shipped. Should be here Monday, but could come early. Swstrings is usually pretty quick in my experience. I have a set of dominants and a set of PIs as well on stand-by to compare.
March 4, 2021, 3:19 PM · Rondos have a lot more tension than Dominant Pro, so you would expect more punch.
March 5, 2021, 4:18 AM · Update: the Pirastro Perpetual E string blends *really well* with the Dominant Pros. But in testing all this, I am amazed how good the Thomastik Special Gold Plated E string, which is still battling for the first place (I thinl they both beath the Usual Pirastro Gold E), The Thomastik Gold plated E has a beautiful shimmer (not expected by me, thought it was going to be just « warm ») which makes it very singing and juici but never aggressive.

By contrast the perpetual is super sophisticated, lots of colours, hyper smooth bright sound but not quite as much sweet shimmer as the Thomastik! hope it helps whoever (like me) is on a quest for good combinations.

Edited: March 5, 2021, 5:03 AM · Given how much noise has been made (parturiunt montes), if the PROs need a separate E string, then Thomastik can go back to the drawing board, IMO.
Edited: March 5, 2021, 9:10 AM · Shar's take.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xp99j3yliXk

Edited: March 5, 2021, 8:24 PM · It's not true that Thomastik has been trying to make a good E string for decades without success. The Vision Titanium Solo E, Vision Titanium Orchestra E, and the peter Infeld Platinum E are well known for being some of the best E strings on the market.
March 5, 2021, 3:24 PM ·
Edited: March 5, 2021, 3:47 PM · Did Thomastik consult professional players when designing these strings? I'm curious why they call it "Pro" but I'm thinking it might have to do with that. Maybe they were beta tested with a group of players (soloists, orchestra musicians, luthiers).
March 5, 2021, 4:21 PM · Raymond,
Yes, they consulted professionals when designing these strings and gave them to a small group of players so they could test them. Two that come to mind are Cristian Fatu and William Fedkenheuer, second violinist of the Miro Quartet.

On the other hand, I think Thomastik makes great E strings that fit with the set they were designed for. Even the original dominant E string works great depending on the violin and the Tin-plated E string is an improvement over the original plain steel. I use the Warchal Amber purely because it's just what I prefer and I like that it doesn't really whistle. That doesn't mean the original E string in the set is bad, it's just a preference. I know people who use full sets of the vision line of strings as well as PIs. I liked the E string that came with the Rondo set as well, I just liked the non-whistling capabilities of the Amber E more.

I intend to give the D Pro E its fair trial as well. I did however get Amber Es with the PIs and Dominants because that's just the E I use and wanted to make the trial as fair as possible, so I'm keeping the E string constant and will swap the D Pro E with the Amber as well. I've tried both original Es of the Dominants and PIs, so I already knew my opinion about those Es, but the D Pro E is obviously something new to me.

Edited: March 5, 2021, 6:05 PM · Most strings are beta tested by pros and others. PRO is simply a marketing scheme. Bet Pi were, and even regular Dominant back in the day, when famous pros first started using them.

Not saying they were not tested by pros, or that they cannot be "pro strings"-just saying it is simply a new product moniker. If they work for you, they are "PRO" enough. (The same for all "Solo" type of string products.)

I am glad they are working out well for many of you.

March 5, 2021, 7:53 PM · Bill Weaver told me he tried the E on a violin he set up last evening. He took it off and put a Goldbrokat E on instead. When I asked what he thought of the E, he said this and suggested I post it:

“I put the Goldbrokat on because it was much better. I only use what works well because I don’t have time to play games. I need to use strings that will sell fiddles.”

March 6, 2021, 12:20 AM · I also love the Goldbrokat and Gold Label in medium, but also love Oliv and Hill Es. When I used heavy Es, my favorite was the Westminster or Oliv Stark vs the ubiquitous Jargar. I no longer have such a need. I find the other strings to speak more clearly throughout its range in mittel, with a better feel under the fingers, a brighter/clearer G string register, and more clarity/openness overall with all the other strings. With my current Eudoxas, I am using a Gold Label equivalent (the Eudoxa plain steel version-it is the same string.)

I find the E that I liked the most from Thomastik was the Titanium Solo E, but it is almost an specialty string, and a bit pricey. Scores of players love their platinum E but I never tested it, as I found the price absurd, especially since so many other good Es can sound amazing for less. I know that coating sounds pretty good when I used the Pirastro version, but I do think $40 for an E is almost criminally expensive.

The Goldbrokat is also very affordable so a violinist could keep them constantly fresh without spending much, and still have a great tonal palette. I like their clarity and feel. Bright and wonderful. I used to use them in extra heavy many years ago, but have been using mittel only for years now.

The Thomastik/Infeld Gold plated E was also not too bad at all. Though they have at least two-if not three-types to choose from.

I never loved the "silvery steel" E Pirastro uses in many of their lines. Gold Label and others are richer-sounding while still brilliant and clear. Surprising how I would still use a Gold Label instead-perhaps we are all used to them, players and luthiers alike.

(On the subject of just "selling violins", I think *fresh* sets of medium EP greens with a medium Goldbrokat would be an excellent choice-though not what I would use in my own playing nowadays. Did use such a combination eons ago. Mr. Weaver did sell me a violin back in 2001.)

March 6, 2021, 3:31 AM · My post wasn't 100% serious.
I realise that E strings are very personal things and a matter of taste to a lot of violinists. I didn't mean to imply that I believed Thomastik had made an objectively bad one.


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